ROSEVILLE, Minn. (WCCO) — Retailers are hoping today was a big day for people out looking for some deals. Because so far this holiday shopping season has been the weakest since 2008.

According to the MasterCard Advisors SpendingPulse reporter, November and December sales increased only 0.7 percent — below the 3-to-4-percent growth. A healthy number that analysts had expected.

One local retail expert said that in looking at the very early numbers, he’s not quite ready to put a black cape on the season. He predicts more growth once more final numbers come in.

And another expert says that you have to take these early numbers with a grain of salt because Minnesota’s shopping trends really tend to bounce around.

While most shoppers say they’ve had a healthy Christmas, national numbers released Wednesday show slower growth nationwide than expected. Analysts point to Hurricane Sandy, the threat of the fiscal cliff and general sadness after the Newtown shooting for slower sales.

The best deals for Wednesday’s day-after-Christmas sales depended on where you shopped. Experts say future deals will depend on the inventory that’s left — after gift cards, this week’s sales and everyone’s returns.

Shoppers Make Returns

Heather Brown